Book review: Holistic Spirituality: Life Transforming Wisdom from the Letter of James
by Bruce G. Epperly
“Faith without works is dead.” This may be the most notable phrase in the epistle of James. Bruce Epperly would agree, describing the practical teachings of James as “holistic,” grounded in God’s generous care for each of us.
We don’t know who James felt he was correcting with this epistle, but presumably there were some early followers of Jesus who were so “heavenly minded that they were no earthly good.” James sets them straight, reminding them of their responsibility in upholding the goodness of Christ. This is no epistle of straw, as Luther claimed, nor is it the work of a simple-minded follower. Epperly puts it like this: “James is a theologian, but his theology moves from the classroom and the study to the street corner and the soup kitchen.”
This is a short 40-page booklet in the Topical Line Drives series by Energion Publications, each of which is meant to zero in on a topic with simple precision. Epperly is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, and the author of over 30 books.
This is my first taste of Epperly’s work. I enjoyed the simplicity and clarity of his approach, and look forward to a couple more books of his that have been shared with me.
Energion Publications, © 2014, 40 pages